A Donegal Town woman is enjoying a new learning adventure in computing and more with Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service.
Theresa McGroary left school at an early age. Now in her 50s, she decided it was time to go back to education and gain extra confidence in her work.
Theresa had been working in various roles throughout her life, most recently at the Drimarone Community Centre, but she wanted to be able to use computers without needing to ask others for help. That’s where Donegal ETB came in. For the past two years, Theresa has been advancing her skills at one of the ETB’s FET Centres in Donegal Town (Drumcliff) through a range of part-time courses.
“I wanted to learn more for my own benefit,” Theresa says.
“I could turn on a computer and type, but that was about the height of it.
“It was a big thing for me to learn to look up things, internet safety and use the smartphone.
“I have achieved a lot over the years by going to these courses.”
Donegal ETB initially set Theresa up with the opportunity to do her Junior Certificate English and Maths exams and Leaving Cert Maths.
“It took me a while to get the chance to do these things, but I have achieved it now and I was delighted with that,” Theresa said.
In 2020, Theresa returned to education with the Learning for Living programme, which is an adult literacy service within Donegal ETB that is tailored to each individual student. Beginning with Core IT (Level 1), she progressed on to Essential IT (Level 2), and then she completed a Digital Citizenship course (Level 3).
As far as learning goes, Theresa has certainly come a long way. Her upskilling put her in good stead to interview for a new role at St. Patrick’s parish centre.
“Without a doubt, the studying helped me, I am more aware of what I am doing and I had more confidence in how to conduct myself,” she said.
Theresa is currently doing a Level 3 Internet Skills course, where she is building skills in internet usage, security and communications.
“It’s another step forward in learning,” she said. “I am enjoying it because you are learning to send emails to the tutor and do print screens.”
She credits Adult Literacy Organiser Adele McElhinney and tutors Belinda Duncan and Trish Walsh as great supports throughout her journey.
“Donegal ETB is fantastic. It’s giving people an opportunity that they wouldn’t have without it. They make it easy to follow what they are saying.
“Confidence was a big thing for me over the years. I’ve built up good confidence, people have to realise you need that wee bit of a push for yourself,” Theresa said.
“It’s worth going into adult education, it doesn’t matter what age you are. You are never too old to learn!”
If you would like some help with getting to grips with literacy, numeracy or technology, you’ll find more information on Donegal ETB’s website (https://www.donegaletb.ie/feature/programmes/adult-literacy/) or contact one of Donegal ETB’s Adult Literacy Organisers around the county:
Finn Valley – Georgina Thompson (087 7002294)
Inishowen – Claire McNicholl (086 1740684)
Letterkenny / Milford – Emilia Niewulska (086 1740683)
South Donegal – Tricia Walsh Gillepsie (086 8207338)
West Donegal – Dolores MhicGeidigh (086 1740677)
Adult Literacy is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.